AutoGrid, the market leader in flexibility management software for the energy industry, has announced a strategic partnership with global energy management and automation specialist Schneider Electric to help energy providers integrate customer-owned or -operated flexible distributed energy resources (DERs) into their distribution management operations.

The joint solution, integrating Schneider EcoStruxure Advanced Distribution Management System (ADMS) with AutoGrid Flex, the energy industry’s first fully-integrated flexibility management application, uses the open standard IEEE 2030.5 to exchange data and control signals.

“As distributed energy resources proliferate, electric utilities want a way to balance supply and demand across a complex, dynamic and multi-directional network,” said Dr. Amit Narayan, chief executive officer of AutoGrid. “Combining our solution with Schneider’s capabilities allows energy providers to harness data to balance a distributed grid with flexible capacity from all grid-connected DERs.”

The new capabilities enable a comprehensive approach to modeling, forecasting, optimizing and orchestrating flexibility from all behind-the-meter (BTM) DERs connected to the electricity grid. This brings unprecedented real-time visibility and control across the full spectrum of BTM and front-of-the meter utility-scale assets such as energy storage, solar PV, wind, thermostats, water heaters, electric vehicle chargers, and commercial and industrial demand response for transmission and distribution network operators.

“Great partners like AutoGrid make us a stronger company,” said Frederic Abbal, EVP Services Business, Schneider Electric. “This mutually beneficial strategic partnership will help us bring new innovative solutions and services to our customers on both sides of the meter. These cutting-edge capabilities will help our customers manage their distributed energy resources and enable them to fully integrate renewable energy onto the grid.”

Using DERs for Grid Services Increases Customer Satisfaction, Improves Reliability and Reduces Cost

Much of the activity in the new energy landscape has shifted behind the meter to grid-edge assets. With AutoGrid Flex, regulated utilities can aggregate, optimize and manage behind-the-meter assets directly from the control center for applications such as demand management, renewable balancing and peak load reduction.

The ability to use DER assets for grid management will enable utility customers to maximize their return on investment by getting compensated for providing grid services or through participation in wholesale markets. Utilities benefit by growing capacity without the expense of updating grid infrastructure and improving overall power quality and system reliability. They can pass these savings to energy consumers, creating a virtuous cycle for adoption of new energy technologies.

The combined solution will enable utilities to deliver personalized, value-based experiences to their customers, increasing satisfaction and opening opportunities to wider adoption of electric vehicles, solar, storage and other smart devices.

Utilities will be able to offer a wide choice of programs and incentives to energy consumers, simultaneously boosting customer satisfaction and participation in DER-based grid services programs. The solution will provide a seamless, AI-based personalization interface for energy customers to learn about eligible cost-saving offers and enroll their assets into the utility programs right at the time of their purchase. All contractual and operational constraints will be managed by the system, and energy customers will retain full control on how and when they would participate in these programs.

“AutoGrid and Schneider Electric share a common vision for a future where energy companies can use advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence and high-performance cloud computing to effectively manage a decarbonized, decentralized and digitized grid,” said Narayan. “Our Flex software combined with Schneider’s best-in-breed ADMS enables the modern energy system by managing both data and energy in a distributed, dynamic, digital network.”

Originally published on power-grid.com

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